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Jasperbridge Percussion Guitar

27 June 2011 4 Comments Print This Post Print This Post

JasperbridgeWhat the…? What’s going on here? It’s a guitar. Sort of. It’s all futuristic and stuff. It’s got backwards bits. I mean… What?

Say hello to the Jasperbridge Percussion Guitar. It’s the brainchild of Tom Shaper (guitarist and inventor). The strings are on BOTH sides.

What?

Yeah. So the strings head down the neck as usual and then make their way through a tunnel of sorts before appearing at the (offset) rear of the guitar.

Why?

Good question. Shaper says that it’s to allow you to play guitar with a drumstick or similar. You fret chords in (approximately) the same way as you normally would but you’ve got the strings facing you at the bridge end so you can bang them with stuff. This design means it’s necessary to mount the Jasperbridge on a stand before you can play.

Shaper reminds us that a number of famous guitarists have played guitars with drumsticks—he names Buddy Guy and John Mayer—and he reckons that his guitar can open a new world of percussive guitar music.

I’ve seen Buddy Guy play his regular Strat with a drumstick on a few occasions (live) and it was pretty cool. Thing is, he did a fine job of it on that regular Strat. So fine, that I’m not immediately sure of the point of the Jasperbridge.

I can see how you’d get a different ‘feel’ by striking the strings back there and it might feel more natural to a drummer. From a guitarist’s point of view though, the left-hand position appears unnaturally ‘curled’ back and looks awkward. Perhaps in reality, it’s all fine and natural but I tried experimenting by tilting my own guitar into that position and it felt uncomfortable.

Maybe that’s just me, though, and if this floats your boat, you can buy a Jasperbridge from their site. They’re currently listed at US$525.

What do you reckon? Innovative genius or answer to question only one guy asked?

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Written by: Gerry Hayes
This article is listed under: News

4 Comments »

  • Sem said:

    Definitely the answer to a question only one guy asked but answered in funny, and inventive kind of way :) Nice catch !

  • Gerry Hayes (Article Author) said:

    Thanks Sem.
    The guy clearly enjoys playing it and it obviously fills a niche for him. I don’t quite get it, but I certainly wish him luck. I love inventiveness, even (especially?) when it appears weird to me.

  • Paul said:

    If you want to see the Jasperbridge in action, you can see Tom demoing it at the LA guitar festival over the 4th July weekend…
    http://www.laguitarfestival.com/ – (click VIP/pre-show)

  • Gerry Hayes (Article Author) said:

    Paul: Thanks for that.

    It seems the link you provided points to the YouTube video that’s embedded above.

    If anyone would like to see more, try popping to http://myjbridge.com/home.cfm. The home page and the About page have additional videos of the Jasperbridge in action.